Charlottetown, PEI - The UPEI Panthers, who lit up the scoreboard with an impressive 10-goal performance just a day earlier, found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreline Saturday night, falling to the STFX X-Men 6-3.
Jacob Hudson single-handedly matched UPEI's goal total by recording a hat trick, while teammates Brendon Clavelle, Conner Bruggen-Cate and Matthew Struthers also found the back of the net. Josh Nelson had three assists in the win, with Clark Webster adding two helpers.
Riding the wave of their previous victory, the Panthers were looking for their second straight win at home, but the X-Men let their presence be known, as they scored three goals in the first eight minutes of the game.
STFX opened the scoring at 1:56 when Clavelle's wrist shot from the point floated by Jonah Capriotti, who was screened in front and didn't see the puck coming until it was too late.
Kaleb Pearson, who was coming off a four-goal performance, continued his stellar weekend and evened the score about a minute and a half later on a power play goal. Alex De Gagne found Pearson wide open in the left circle, where he fired a slap shot by Joseph Raaymakers.
The game had the makings of a back-and-forth affair, but the X-Men had other plans. They retook the lead at 6:58 when Hudson tipped in Clavelle's shot from the point for his first of two consecutive goals.
Twenty-seven seconds later, Nelson skated through the neutral zone and drew two defenders toward him before dropping the puck off for Clavelle, who took a couple strides before wiring a wrist shot in the top left corner to make it 3-1. The usually steady Capriotti struggled between the pipes, allowing six goals on 23 shots before he was lifted after the second period.
The middle stanza was more of the same, as the X-Men scored three more goals to distance them further from their opponent. After Burggen-Cate made it 4-1 at 5:09, the Panthers surrendered another goal less than three minutes later on a careless play in their own zone. As De Gagné took the puck from the side the net, Struthers came in, poked it loose and watched it slide under Capriotti's pads and across the goal line.
The Panthers would get a goal back on a great effort from Mike Stubbs at 17:48. After the rookie skated in for the neutral and passed it over to Marc Richard for an open shot, Stubbs stayed with the play and poked in the rebound while his body grazed the right post.
The goal had the potential to be the turning point, but Hudson netted his third of the night just 48 seconds later to give his team a 6-2 lead going into the third period, where the game got a bit chippy.
Sixty-four penalty minutes were issued between the two teams as tempers flared throughout the duration of the final period. During all that disorder, De Gagné deposited his first goal as a Panther while on the power play at 4:01.
The X-Men outshot the Panthers 35-28 in the game. Hudson recieved player of the game honours for X for his three goal performance. Ben MacFarlane was UPEI's player of the game.
UPEI will regroup and take on the visiting Dalhousie Tigers Friday night, while the X-Men will first get a crack at the Tigers for a Wednesday night tilt at home.
Recap courtesy Thomas Becker, UPEI Athletics